Wednesday, September 02, 2009

i scream, you scream


Today I finally did something I've been meaning to do for ages: I made ice cream from raw goat milk. Last week I picked up a dandy ice cream machine for a cool three and a half bucks. I'll tell you what, I usually have decent thrifting karma; I picture the thing I want or need or wish for and (roughly) I find it on some secondhand store shelf soon after. But the ice cream maker eluded me for so long! We have a super source for farm fresh and tasty raw milk right now, so early in the summer I envisioned plenty of homemade ice cream in our future. But mid-summer or on autumn's doorstep, a cold frozen treat is welcome any time. I'm just glad I finally found one and the price was so low (cheaper than a store bought pint!), I had nothing to lose.

To be fair, what I really made is probably more of an "ice milk" than ice cream, seeing that I just used whole goat milk and no separated cream. Goat milk does not separate easily like cow milk does and the cream cannot be simply skimmed off the top; goat milk is naturally homogenized and contains a lower fat content, anyway. I read some recipes online, but in the end decided to wing it. I didn't go out on a wild limb or anything, I stuck to the standards, but didn't have any specific goat milk reference.

Here's what I did: in the ice cream bucket, I stirred together 2 C raw goat milk, 1/2 C organic raw sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt. In a saucepan, I whisked together 2 C raw goat milk and 2 eggs. I kept whisking until it got hot and bubbly. I don't know. And then I dumped the milk + egg mix into the maker bucket and stirred together and then followed the machine's instructions from there.


Oh, this machine, a compact seventies jobbie called, charmingly, "Ice Cream Parlor", instructed to use straight table salt, contrary to the tempting rock salt of my youth. Wasn't there always something so irresistible about sticking a finger in the cranking machine to sneak out a big lump of salt? I did have to make a special trip to the grocery outlet for regular salt, since I exclusively use sea salt in the kitchen. But that's a tiny expense (salt cylinders, 2 for $1, man, that grocery outlet always comes through for me) and worth the hassle.

It took about 40 minutes, thereabouts, before the mixture was thick and ice-cream-like. I pulled out the paddle and licked a tiny taste and oh! hello unexpected time travel moment! I'm in my grandma's backyard! I'm 7! or 10! or 14! and I have a plastic cup held out, ready for my share. Somebody's complaining that Grandma didn't make butter pecan or something fancy but I'm so glad it's plain old vanilla. So so good.

I let the children have tiny tastes, also, but then I packed it all into a container and tucked it in the back of the freezer. I love the fresh from the maker softness, but I thought a few more hours of hardening (or, in official ice cream making terms, "ripening" but seriously? ripe? ice cream? let's just call it hard, okay?) would make it easier to serve. Besides, we weren't an extended family gathering in the backyard, we were going to be getting crabby if mama didn't make dinner soon. So the timing was perfect to make the ice cream earlier and then start right into dinner prep.

This has been the biggest hit since the first time I made cinnamon rolls, a few years ago, and finished them off with a powdered sugar icing and let the cat out of the bag that, yes, such delectable treats can be made, easily, right here at home. But that doesn't mean we're going to have them all the time! So stop asking! Special things are only special if you don't do them every ding day. But that's so much sugar and this is, still, healthy goat milk and not so much sugar and the unmistakable motor sound of an ice cream machine, the round and round and round whirring. I love that sound.

goat milk ice cream

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